Posts Tagged ‘FLNX 484’

Remember When an FL9 Prowled the CVSR?

July 3, 2018

It is September 2011 and Nickel Plate Road No. 765 is making a guest appearance on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad pulling a series of excursions, including a total track tour to Canton.

Also part of those excursions was FL9 No. 484. The 765 was only around for a few weeks, but No. 484 stayed around for a few years.

It arrived on the CVSR in late 2009 and remained their until February 2012.

During the 2011 visit of the 765 the FL9 was the motive power assigned to the north end of the steam excursions.

Built in November 1957 for the New Haven, No. 484 also pulled Amtrak trains through the mid-1990s.

At the time of its CVSR appearance, it was owned by F.P. Flynn. No. 484 also saw spot duty helping to pull excursions sponsored by the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society on the Wheeling & Lake Erie.

The photograph above shows No. 484 at Bath Road facing north. The 765 is on the other end of this train facing south.

The image was made almost seven years ago so it you won’t find it in a wayback machine. Still, seven years was several years ago and the 484 hasn’t been around for a while.

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Cranking Up My Not So Far Way Back Machine

June 16, 2018

When Akron Railroad Club member Bob Farkas cranks up his way back machine he usually has in mind going back to the 1970s or earlier.

When I dive into my version of a way back machine I tend to have a much shorter focus in time.

I recently launched a project of reviewing some my older digital images with an eye toward processing and posting some that got overlooked shortly after they were made.

I decided to start with July, August and September of 2011, a period of time that incorporated the first three months that I started doing digital photography.

I was all over the visit that September of Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 765 when it came to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and pulled a series of excursions.

The image above was made on Sept. 17. The 765 was pulling a trip headed for Canton that was billed as a “total track tour.”

I was waiting for it on the Old Station Road bride that is now part of the towpath trail.

What caught my attention about this photograph is the FL9 that is trailing on the train and will bring it back north later today.

The CVSR used that FL9, a former Amtrak and New Haven unit, between 2009 and early 2012.

It was paired with NKP 765 during its September 2011 visit, which would turn out to be the waning days of No. 484’s tenure in the Valley.

No. 484 at the time was owned by F.P. Flynn but has since moved on to working in Canada.

Another notable fact about this train is the presence of two dome cars. The dome with the blue, gold and gray paint was named Emerson at the time and had just been joined by the former Silver Bronco, which was already wearing CVSR colors.

The ex-Silver Bronco assumed the Emerson name for a while before reverting to its original Denver & Rio Grande Western name.

The blue, gold and gray dome in this train is a former Great Northern car than ran on the CVSR between 2009 and 2011.

As I processed this image I also noticed something that had escaped my attention at the time.

Can you find the Akron Railroad Club member in this photo? He is standing  next a tripod with a video camera and has a still photo camera around his neck. Look a little to the left of the Buckeye crossbuck at the grade crossing.

It is Paul Wooding who was part of the impromptu photo line.

What Was that FL9 Doing in Ohio?

October 12, 2009
FLNX 484 and Orrville Railroad Heritage Society No. 471 are shown backing onto the Media Loop excursion train on Saturday (October 10) at Spencer. (Photograph by Richard Jacobs)

FLNX 484 and Orrville Railroad Heritage Society No. 471 are shown backing onto the Medina Loop excursion train on Saturday (October 10) at Spencer. (Photograph by Richard Jacobs)

If you were out on Saturday chasing the Orrville Railroad Heritage Society Medina Loop passenger excursion, then you saw a critter that we don’t see much of around these parts. For much of the trip, FLNX 484 trailed ORHS’s No. 471.

But at Spencer, the power ran around the train and the FL9 was the lead unit from Spencer to Orrville.

FL9s are better known for their work on New York City commuter and intercity passenger trains running in and out of Grand Central Terminal, although some also served Penn Station.

The ORHS now has the use of FLNX 484, a former New Haven Railroad FL9 that also served Penn Central and Amtrak. The unit is owned by Ohio Railway Supply (R.P. Flynn, Inc.), hence the initials FLN with the X denoting that it is not owned by a railroad company.

FL9s were notable for being able to operate in diesel and electric mode. Small pickup shoes were located on the trucks so that the locomotive could operate from third rail electricity in and out of Grant Central in compliance with a New York City anti-smoke ordinance.

The FL9 were ordered by the New Haven to pull Boston-New York passenger trains. Their dual-mode capability eliminated the need to switch out diesels for electric locomotives for use in New York City.

The locomotives served a similar function for Amtrak, although by the late 1990s the last Amtrak FL9s had been replaced by P42AC-DM locomotives in the Genesis series.

The Heritage of FLNX 484 is a long one. It began life in 1957 as New Haven No. 2029. Along the way it became Penn Central 5029, a number it carried into the Conrail era.

Amtrak acquired it and renumbered it 484. It was rebuilt in 1979 by Morrison-Knudsen in Boise, Idaho. After retirement from Amtrak, the unit apparently spent some time at the Morristown and Erie Railroad in New Jersey before being purchased by R.P. Flynn.

He contracted with the Florida East Coast Railway to have No. 484 rebuilt. It arrived at the FEC shop in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, in fall 2007 in rather poor condition.

During the rebuilding, it was given its current cream and green livery, which is reminiscent of “Grinstein” livery once used by the Burlington Northern executive train.

FLNX 484 was sent north on Norfolk Southern in late June, arriving in Ohio on June 30. After testing on the Wheeling & Lake Erie at Brewster, it was declared fit for service.

The Medina Loop train of this past Saturday is thought to be No. 484’s first revenue service trip for ORHS. The Orrville group plans to use FLNX 484 in excursion service in 2010.

Although FL9 sightings in Ohio are unusual, they are not unheard of. FL9s occasionally worked on the Lake Shore Limited at times and some Metro North and Connecticut Department of Transportation-owned FL9s were ferried through northern Ohio by Conrail en route or returning from the M-K shops in Idaho.